Featured Image Courtesy Rex Boggs

Sputnik Science & Engineering Buildings: Bane or Boon?

The Sputnik satellite, a looming threat in the late 1950s, effectively spawned the best technology the US has developed... as well as many mid-century science buildings. Could these seemingly large and ugly buildings actually be goldmines for adaptive reuse and historic preservation? This session will discuss the pros and cons of retrofitting these structures into contemporary environments.

You Will...

  1. Review the historic background and character of these buildings.
  2. Gather resources to properly assess their future worth for reuse as teaching and research facilities or another adaptive, lower-tech use.
  3. Develop specific benefit/cost metrics for decision-making, incorporating political quantitative and qualitative issues.
  4. Evaluate successful outcomes of retaining and updating these buildings.


Glen Berry is the President and Founder of DESIGN FOR SCIENCE. Mr. Berry has specialized in the programming, planning, and design of science buildings since 1986. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah (1988) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design from Brigham Young University (1983). Mr. Berry is a registered architect in Idaho, Utah and Texas, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and is certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Prior to founding DESIGN FOR SCIENCE in June of 2000, Mr. Berry was a Principal with Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum, GPR Planners Collaborative, and Research Facilities Design.
Steven J. Farneth’s design work has given some of the nation’s most prominent architectural sites and buildings new life over the past four decades. With an equal commitment to process and product, he rolls up his sleeves and sketches out ideas with clients to generate concepts collaboratively, and enjoys working with diverse teams on projects with complex issues. Testament to his combination of design, problem-solving, and relationship-building skills, his clients regularly return with new projects. Steve brings an active and nationally recognized presence in the international preservation community as Vice Chairman of the US Committee of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and as a previous steering committee member of the Getty Institute’s Seismic Adobe Project. He has served on the Executive Committee of the California State Historical Building Safety Board for over 10 years. Steve has sensitively guided the design and rehabilitation of some of the nation’s most prominent architectural sites and buildings including The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, The Huntington Art Gallery and the Education and Visitor Center in San Marino, Cavallo Point – The Lodge at the Golden Gate in Sausalito, and University of Virginia’s Garrett Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia. Steve leads ARG’s Sustainable Design Studio, creatively integrating the goals of sustainability and preservation into all of ARG’s planning and design projects.
Lisa Fay Matthiessen has been working in sustainability since 1995 and has shown a deep commitment to the USGBC for 15 years. Founder of the USGBC Los Angeles Chapter, Lisa became one of the first LEED Faculty, has participated in various LEED working groups and committees, and is now the Chair of the Market Advisory Committee. Lisa has developed a deep technical mastery of LEED; she worked on one of the first LEED projects (Bren Hall, LEED Platinum Version 1.0) and since then has led the successful certification of over 20 projects. Lisa has mentored and educated others; she developed and led a team of 20 sustainability specialists during her 8 years with Davis Langdon, and has reached thousands through her workshops, lectures, and publications. Lisa has contributed to the growing body of sustainability knowledge; her seminal work on the cost of green helped to shift the discussion to a productive and positive standpoint.
Simin Naaseh serves as the CEO and President of Forell/Elsesser. While building on the firm’s 55 year tradition of technical excellence and exceptional service, she takes special interest in advancing the firm as one of the most innovative structural engineering firms in the nation. Constantly striving to improve, Simin has reinvigorated the firm’s long-standing tradition of investing in Research & Development.Simin is well recognized for her experience in the implementation of innovative seismic protection technologies such as seismic isolation, and has lectured internationally sharing her knowledge on the subject. She thrives on building strong relationships with clients and professional colleagues and applies this strength internally to foster a collaborative working environment. She enjoys design/build, large-scale, and complex projects particularly because of their intrinsically collaborative nature. With a history of managing both large and small projects since 1983, Simin also recognizes that the key to a project’s success is working closely with clients to create a customized solution to suit each client’s goals, whether that means attention to seismic performance, cost-effectiveness, or a fast schedule. Simin received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Azar Abadegan in Tabriz, Iran, and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan.When she is not focusing on steering Forell/Elsesser towards success, Simin can be found hiking, cooking with her family, or indulging in her passion for music.Professional AssociationsStructural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Fellow, Past-PresidentOSHPD Hospital Building Safety Board Member (HBSB), Former Member 2008-2016American Institute of Architects, San Francisco (AIASF), Public Board MemberAmerican Institute of Architects, San Francisco (AIASF), Former Allied Member, Former Member AIA Health Facilities Committee, Former Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) CommitteeEarthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), MemberSan Francisco Planning + Urban Research (SPUR), MemberCalifornia Preservation Foundation (CPF), Past Trustee
David J. Neuman (moderator) is the founding principal of Neu Campus Planning, Inc. which utilizes a 360-degree perspective and a collaborative approach in consulting with a wide variety of institutional clients ranging from leading preparatory schools, to community colleges, to non-governmental organizations, to large research universities and related academic medical centers. In 2014, the firm formed a strategic alliance with the Architectural Resources Group (ARG), with offices in San Francisco, Pasadena and Portland.David brings over 30 years of experience in higher education campus planning. He served for ten years as the Chief Planning Officer and Architect for the University of Virginia, where he guided overall efforts in sustainability; land use, campus and community planning; programming and design of capital projects; and stewardship of cultural resources, including Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Previously, he was the University Architect and Associate Vice Provost for Planning at Stanford University; Campus Architect and Associate Vice Chancellor for Planning at the University of California, Irvine; and Consulting Campus Architect for the University of California Santa Barbara, University of Nebraska system and University of Hawaii, West O’ahu.A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he is the recipient of the California Council AIA Corporate Architect Award, and has accepted major awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the California Governor’s Office. Projects and plans involving his direct oversight and collaboration have received more than 100 local, regional and national awards of excellence.In addition to numerous conference presentations and journal articles, his publications include: Critical Architecture and Contemporary Culture (Oxford Press, 1994), The Campus Guide: Stanford University (Princeton Architectural Press, 1999 & 2006), Building Type Basics for Campus Planning and Campus Facilities (Wiley and Sons, 2003 & 2013 English & 2005, Mandarin), and The Campus Guide: University of Virginia (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).